Thirty Two [The Accident]

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Adrenaline; a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, especially in conditions of stress, increasing rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and preparing muscles for exertion. Typically it causes you to sweat, your heart races, your eyesight improves. All accompanied by nausea and jitters.

Harry's fingers ache from white-knuckling the slim handle attached above the window just beside his head, his sight glued to the multicolored unrecognizable city just beyond the frigid, rain-spattered pane of glass. He can't remember the last time he's been in a passenger car aside from the stray taxi cab here and there when he can afford one. He isn't sure how he arrived here or who's car it is, but the interior is tidy and smelling of new leather, the gray mat below his sneakers uncluttered and a contrary to the clusters of buildings zipping by at rapid speed just outside of the fast-moving vessel.

He tears his gaze away from the window to glance at the driver who has just addressed him, their language muffled and incomprehensible but their expression is jovial so he assumes they're feeling positive about whatever destination is approaching. He licks his lips and nods in agreement, not bothering to ask them to repeat themselves because he's too nervous to concentrate. The rain is creating a barrier below the grip of the car's tires and every few feet he can feel the vehicle hydroplane and swerve, forcing Harry to tighten his hold on the handle above his head for a sense of safety.

He wonders if the driver has been drinking alcohol or what is causing them to drive so recklessly, but then he is overcome with a sinking feeling that he is forgetting something and the anxiety in his gut is weighted down heavily with another emotion that he can't place. It could possibly be fear, but he's too confused to allow himself to be afraid.

Harry twists around to check the backseat, finding two more passengers that he does not recognize. Both of them on their devices and unaware of their whereabouts, unbothered by the fact that the driver is carelessly driving at least twenty miles over the limit and in the rain no less. He squeezes his eyes shut and readjusts to face the windshield, his eyelids peeling open to stare at his hand grasping the handle yet again but his mind draws a complete blank when he sees his bare skin adorned with the simple band of metal around his middle finger. He's looking for something; he absolutely despises the feeling of misplacement but no matter how fiercely he digs, he can't remember what he's looking for.

The wheels hop over a threshold to signify a change in the path, Harry's attention drawn away from his hand to look out the window and upwards towards the sky. Tall, thin beams of metal cascade all around him like a spiderweb and it clicks all at once that the increasing speed of the vehicle has brought him and all of the other passengers onto a bridge. He presses his nose and mouth against the glass for a comprehensive view of what lies beneath, his chest tightening in panic when he realizes that he's completely surrounded by tumultuous water on every side. He opens his mouth to speak but no sound comes out, he grapples with whether or not he should tighten his seatbelt or remove it completely, he releases the handlebar above his head and stares at his palms again only to be met with spotless skin.

He curls his hands into fists against his thighs and catches the sight of the driver's foot depressing the gas pedal even further, the sickening speed of the car sucking his thoughts and his voice bone dry. He tries to recall anything, absolutely anything, but it's as if his mind has been replaced by a sponge and the only thing he is capable of is absorbing the atmosphere of this vehicle as his brain grows heavy and soggy.

The car lurches violently and Harry's body is thrown against the passenger door, his head knocking the glass as he squeezes his eyes shut and rubs his palm against his scalp. That should have hurt, but it didn't. He's incapacitated for a moment before he opens his eyelids again and checks his hand for blood, his eyes burning holes into the three naturally curving lines etched into his palms. Those have always been there and that's not what he's looking for. What is he looking for?

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